by Seumas Milne
Iraq may have been a blood-drenched disaster and Afghanistan a grinding military and
political failure. But Libya was supposed to have been different. Nato's war to
overthrow Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 was hailed as the liberal intervention that worked.
The western powers might have had to twist the meaning of the UN resolution about
protecting civilians, the city of Sirte might have been reduced to rubble, large-scale
ethnic cleansing taken place and thousands of civilians killed. But it was all in a
noble cause and achieved without Nato casualties.
This wasn't Bush and Blair, after all, but Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy. The people were
free, the dictator was dead, a mooted massacre had been averted - and all this without
any obvious boots on the ground. Even last year the prime minister was still claiming it
had all been worthwhile, promising to stand with Libyans "every step of the way".
But three years after Nato declared victory, Libya is lurching once again towards civil
war. Over the past few days, the CIA-linked General Hiftar
launched his second coup attempt in three months, supposedly to save the country from
"terrorists" and Islamists. . . .
Enver Masud, "Libya: Who's Terrorizing Whom,"
The Wisdom Fund, March 26, 1996
Jean Herskovits, "In Nigeria, Boko Haram Is Not the
Problem," New York Times, January 2, 2012
"NATO Accused of War Crimes in Libya,"
The Wisdom Fund, January 19, 2012
Nick Turse, "Africom Conducting Operations in Almost
Every African Country," tomdispatch.com, May 15, 2014
Ahmed Elumami, "Libyan
premier wins congress backing after ex-general's threats," reuters.com, May 25, 2014
[ . . . the so-called Arab Spring revolts were a peculiar mix of revolution, counter-revolution
and foreign intervention.--Patrick Cockburn, "Libya's Slow
Motion Coup," counterpunch.org, May 26, 2014]
Jesse Franzblau, "Libya:
A Cautionary Tale," antiwar.com, June 10, 2014
"The Ex-CIA Asset Trying to Conquer Libya," thedailybeast.com,
July 14, 2014
"Libya: western countries urge citizens to leave as civil war
intensifies," theguardian.com, July 27, 2014
[General Hifter now represents the public face of the US supported forces in the western
edge of the present wars in North Africa.
. . . Hifter now 71 had been in the Libyan military from the time of the military coup
in 1969, but after 1987 he defected from the Gadaffi government. When the West had
imposed sanctions on Libya, Hifter was associated with opposition National Salvation
Front of Libya (NSFL). In 1988 he relocated to the United States and lived well in that
notorious suburb of Washington, DC, - Langley, Virginia. When the NATO bombings started
in March 2011, Hifter returned to Libya and joined in with the numerous
factions.--Horace G Campbell, "The United States, NATO and the Destruction of Libya,"
counterpunch.org, August 1, 2014]
Libya in Chaos, Democracy Now, August 25, 2014
"Court issues warrant for Libya's Haftar,"
aljazeera.com, November 26, 2014
Ian Black, "Human rights abuses 'leave a third of Libyans with mental
health problems'," theguardian.com, November 26, 2014
[ . . . the BBC had to admit that Gaddafi's "particular form of socialism does provide
free education, healthcare and subsidized housing and transport"--Brian Cloughley, "Libya: Be careful
what you wish for," atimes.com, December 11, 2014]